I WOULD like to present my arguments, in this open letter to PKR's de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, for the rationales in choosing Hj Ansari Abdullah to contest for the P170 Tuaran parliamentary constituency.
Dear Datuk Seri,
I would like to seriously appeal for your kind and serious consideration for Hj Ansari's and his group for candidacy in their respective areas as you had promised.
Such a serious consideration is justified knowing you had also given serious consideration to your own constituents in Permatang Pauh who had appealed for you to recontest in that constituency and not move to Perak.
The case for the seven proposed candidates is also based on grassroot demand and support, not different from the demand and support from the Permatang Pauh supporters. There cannot be two different criteria or sets of decisions if we wish to show our fairness and sense of justice.
We also must avoid the possibility of being accused of having a different considerations for Peninsula cases compared to what is done for PKR Sabah.
I believe if the seven candidates are rejected, the serious moral damage will happen in Sabah PKR, and evidenced by the many uproar and great disappoint now happening on the ground.
We also need to speed up the announcement of the Sabah candidates because the nomination is only a few days away. We need to make the urgent preparations, especially the printing of election posters. Anymore delay will cause a lot of confusion and the hectic scramble and rush prior to the nomination day will be very costly to us.
To all of us Hj Ansari holds a record of being a party loyalist who has proven to be very hard working in strengthening the party support, especially in P170 Tuaran.
Using his own resources of time, energy and money, he had traversed the area way even into the most remote kampungs, including those not accessable by road, promoting the party struggle and ideology.
He had garnered a lot of new support and attracted the entry of credible new leaders from BN parties. He knows the constituency like the back of his hands, having served it for many, many years.
He had even implemented the party's free medical service program for the remote villages in P170 Tuaran (covering Kiulu, Tamparuli and Sulaman), under which free medicines and medical checks by qualified doctors are given - all with his own money.
Villagers even enjoyed high quality medicines which are not found in hospitals and pharmacies in Sabah! Having performed well and endeared himself to the electorates, we salute him for his sincerity and sacrifices, and he is without any reservation, our division's choice as PKR's most winnable candidate in Tuaran, with no competition.
In comparison, I regret to point out that Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred has been tested as a member of parliament and has a lot of critics on matters of performance and track records, not to forget the issue of frogging.
Hj Ansari will not have this problem, and our campaign will not be wasted on explaining and defending people's criticism and anger for unfulfilled development promised.
It is also undeniable that his electoral performance has improved, increasing his votes in P170 Tuaran from 8,855 in 2004 to 11,023 in 2008. In 2004 his number of votes was the highest among the PKR candidates in Sabah, and in 2008 his vote count was the second highest after PKR Kota Belud's votes.
I can give a lot of other reasons why Ansari is a much better choice than Datuk Wilfred, but most importantly, it must be noted that Datuk Wilfred won the area in 2008 because of votes from BN members and supporters from PBS, Upko and Umno.
Now that he had jumped to the opposition he will no longer get these votes, and he will have to depend on the support of only the APS and PKR members in Tuaran.
But now that the PKR Tuaran division is a mood to revolt and is threatening to boycott him should he be made the candidate, his line of support will be very, very thin indeed, and this will definitely give a lot of advantages to the BN candidate. PKR is in real danger of losing P170 Tuaran if it decides to drop Hj. Ansari from the candidates list.
Also, PKR being a party fighting for justice and fairness, must remember that the party Constitution provides that a party candidate must first be a party member. How do we then justify our principle if we choose a non-member like Datuk Wilfred to be a party candidate? It will set a dangerous precedence with no justification and will mar the party's image and integrity.
RICHARD LIBUN ADOU
PKR Tuaran division member
Former Vice President, Kadazandusun Cultrual Association (KDCA)